Thursday, December 4, 2008
Representatives of around 100 countries gathered in Oslo, Norway, to sign a United Nations-sponsored treaty that renounces the use of cluster bombs, a weapon that frequently kills children and other innocent civilians and can destroy communities for years after fighting has stopped. These terrible weapons were first used in World War II. They are bombs that contain a number of smaller bombs that will spread out over the size of several football fields. They often failed to detonate upon impact, and thus created huge de facto minefields that posed a continuing danger for many years. Some of the smaller bombs were painted in bright colors, making them attractive to children. Cluster bombs have claimed over 10,000 civilian lives, 40 per cent of which are children.